Eddie Jones defends shock omission of Joe Cokanasiga for Scotland game

24 2018 England's Joe Cokanasiga runs with the ball during the rugby union international against Australia at Twickenham in London. England have made four changes for the Six Nations match against Scot

Joe Cokanasiga has been dropped from England's matchday 23 for its final Six Nations game against Scotland, despite turning in a man-of-the-match display against Italy last weekend.

England team to face Scotland: Elliot Daly, Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Manu Tuilagi, Jonny May, Owen Farrell (captain), Ben Youngs; Ben Moon, Jamie George, Kyle Sinckler, Joe Launchbury, George Kruis, Mark Wilson, Tom Curry, Billy Vunipola.

There was no reference to an injury for Cokanasiga but Jones will explain his decision in a news conference later on Thursday.

Despite scoring a double against Italy, Brad Shields has been assigned the role of a finisher with Mark Wilson starting at blindside flanker while Ben Moon replaces Ellis Genge at loosehead prop with the latter joining the reserves. "He'll feature very strongly in our plans for the future but we just feel that this week Jack is our best player in that position", Jones said.

"We have had a good preparation and the side is going to be in a great state to play against Scotland on Saturday".

"We might have short memories sometimes, but sometimes you have longer memories", Jones recalled, without elaborating of what exactly annoyed him.


Ben Youngs will make his 85th appearance to surpass the England record for a scrum-half held by Danny Care.

"It's a great achievement but I know for him the most important thing is to win on Saturday", said Jones, who famously threw a bag of candies at Youngs when he first took over, saying he was too heavy.

Jones said there was nothing planned in terms of watching the earlier game. England's players say they will not be watching Wales-Ireland on TV. "We are ready to play well ourselves".

Jones is keen to use the experience of Nowell and Ben Te'o against Scotland, with England still in with a chance of snatching the title out of Wales' hands. "It will be a fascinating finish too, with the three teams that can win it and we are playing against one of our most traditional foes in Scotland", said Jones.

"The massive improvement for us is in our mindset", he said.

"That's developing and gets tested all the time because as soon as you get good at something someone finds a way to stop you".

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